The Over 50 Writer

LOG JAMMED!
6/19/2019 3:00:00 PM by: Patti Shene

PHOTO COURTESY OF PIXABAY

LOG JAMMED!

They say a real writer writes every day. They say a real writer meets a certain weekly, or ideally, daily word count. They say a real writer doesn’t find time to write, she or he makes time to write. They say dreamers talk about writing. Writers write.

 

So why, after all these years, have I still not crossed over from a dreamer who talks about writing to a real writer who writes?

 

I am retired, so no daily job commitment stops me. I am a mom to two adult children and grandmother to one adult grandchild, so no parenting responsibilities stop me. I am a widow with both parents deceased, so no caregiving obligations stop me.

 

What, then, keeps me from my writing?

 

I could say it’s the little things, the unexpected phone call that takes time, the email that demands an immediate response, the appointments that require an hour or more of travel time. If I were to name my excuse, I think the perfect term would be LOGJAMMED.

 

I know nothing about the logging industry, but I assume a log jam is a blockage in the natural progression of logs down a river. One log may drift sideways, impeding the forward movement of the logs behind it.

 

However, it’s not the small twigs that cause a log jam, but the larger logs that smaller timber can’t move past that results in the standstill. The little things in my life can be scheduled around, taken into consideration on a time management calendar, and overcome with planning.

 

It’s the big things that cause my log jam.

 

Doubt

Fear

Procrastination

 

These are the huge obstacles that prevent me as a writer from moving forward with my projects. They stop the flow of creativity just as a sideways chunk of wood stops the progress of anything that lies behind it.

 

I imagine the person responsible for the logs reaching their final destination needs to patrol the river, find the cause of the blockage, and remove the offending pieces of wood causing the problem. We, also, need to take the steps to remove the “logs” that loom in our lives and prevent us from achieving the goals we strive to attain with our writing.

 

Just how do we take those steps?

 

Prayer – Seek God’s guidance to form the goals He has in mind for your work. Turning your writing projects over to His will allows God to use your creativity to proclaim His message.

 

Peer support – Network with other writers for encouragement and education. Join Facebook groups, writing organizations, critique groups, attend conferences, read writing craft books and well-written books in your genre to learn from those who have already succeeded.

 

Perseverance – If you write it and it comes out horrible, write it again. Employ all you have learned to polish those words until they shine. Never stop trying. Make your writing as much a priority in your daily routine as getting dressed, combing your hair, and brushing your teeth. I don’t know if anyone who would walk out the door without accomplishing these tasks first!

 

Use these three actions to achieve your goals:

BIC – Backside in Chair

EOS – Eyes on Screen

HOK – Hands on keyboard

What is causing your log jam?

 

Patti Shene Gonzales is published in two anthologies and local publications and has three western novels in progress. When not writing or reading, she is spending time with friends or attending her only granddaughter’s sports activities. Patti lives in Colorado with her devoted feline companion, Duncan.


Comments

Peg From NW WI At 6/21/2019 2:33:46 PM

Nice, timely article, Patti. I think my biggest "log" messing up the works is procrastination, followed by time management ... or lack thereof. Or, it could be the other way around. I procrastinate because I don't manage my time well. All too soon the time is gone and I've gotten nowhere.

Reply by: Patti Shene

You and me both, Peg! I struggle with procrastination, and try as I might, I still have not mastered the time management skill either. Thank you so much for stopping by and contributing your thoughts.

S From R At 6/21/2019 1:50:42 PM

Thanks for the insight to help unclog our writing "logjams." I have also learned that "logjams" may be times of mental rest that we need for reflection and new writing insights.

Reply by: Patti Shene

I love your take on this. Thank you so much for coming by and contributing to the discussion.

Melissa Henderson From Mount Pleasant SC At 6/20/2019 9:56:57 AM

Prayer first. I ask God to help me with my writing. I ask Him to provide words He wants me to share. If I feel "log jammed", I know I need to go to Him. :-)

Reply by: Patti Shene

I agree, Melissa. He knows where we are supposed to be going long before we do! Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

J.E.Grace From MO At 6/20/2019 1:03:36 AM

Such a well-written article. So many interesting points and so true. This is something every new author or seasoned author that is struggling needs to hear. Thanks for the encouragement. Julie

Reply by: Patti Shene

Thank you so much for your kind words, Julie. I appreciate you stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

The Over 50 Writer


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The Heartbeat of the Novel by James R. Callan
1/15/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Don't Let Bible Contradictions Rob Your Faith
1/2/2014 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Welcome Author Lilliann Duncan
5/30/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Confessions of a Reluctant Reader
5/9/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR LENA NELSON DOOLEY
5/2/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR KATHI MACIAS
4/24/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Review of Congo Dawn by Jeanette Windle
4/18/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

I'm back
4/11/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Welcome Author JoAnn Durgin
2/14/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Welcome Award-Winning Author Susan Page Davis
2/7/2013 12:01:15 AM  by: Patti Shene

Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks
1/30/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Introducing Jeanette Windle and Congo Dawn
1/23/2013 10:22:45 PM  by: Patti Shene

Author Carole Johnson on Perseverance
1/17/2013 12:24:00 AM  by: Patti Shene

The Value of Social Media
1/9/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

A Glimpse Into the Future
1/2/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Welcome Author Jo Huddleston
12/20/2012 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Give Some Holiday Hope for Just $3.99
12/14/2012 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Great Christmas books from Lena Nelson Dooley
12/7/2012 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Welcome to Author Jude Urbanski
11/13/2012 12:59:21 PM  by: Patti Shene

A Writers Journey Part IV
11/13/2012 12:55:36 PM  by: Patti Shene

Interview with Author Kelly Irvin
11/13/2012 12:50:08 PM  by: Patti Shene

Whose prophecy do you believe?
11/13/2012 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Welcome Author Michal J. Webb
11/13/2012 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Meet Author Sharon Shrock and the Women of Valley
11/13/2012 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Welcome Author Lillian Duncan
11/13/2012 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene